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Hong Kong police charged 45 of the 49 protesters arrested in an illegal and violent protest on Sunday for various offenses, including rioting, possession of offensive weapons and assaulting police officers. Appearing at Eastern Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning, the defendants, aged from 16 to 41, were also charged with illegal assembly because the so-called civil disobedience rally was staged without police permission and caused extensive damage to private as well as public properties while holding up traffic in multiple spots in the busy shopping area of Sheung Wan and Central districts of Hong Kong Island.
Sunday’s illegal assembly and the following riot are yet another example of massive abuse of individual rights and infringement of the freedom of innocent local residents and visitors, with civil disobedience as an excuse. Worse is the fact that most if not all of the rioters were well-aware of the consequences of their crime, so much so that they went out of their way to break Hong Kong laws to show they just didn’t care. If such lawlessness is allowed to spread, the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong could be ruined.
Considering the fact that many rioters are university and secondary school students on summer recess, Hong Kong society and especially parents must do their utmost to protect the younger generation from being corrupted by Western governments hell-bent on turning Hong Kong into an outpost in their anti-China strategy. It is apparent that the personal safety, well-being and future of those reckless youths are threatened while performing the “missions” they have been told to do. According to the Public Order Ordinance, the offense of rioting is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, with an inescapable criminal record that will haunt the convicted for the rest of their lives.
If the radicals think destroying Hong Kong’s rule of law along with their own future is worthwhile as long as it helps advance their political agenda, it will be the worst mistake they will ever make because they stand absolutely no chance of success. The arrest and prosecution of the 45 protesters demonstrate that no lawbreaker can get away with committing criminal acts with impunity in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, those ill-advised Western powers manipulating the protest campaigns behind the scenes will realize sooner or later their ill-conceived schemes to hinder China’s development by messing up Hong Kong can never succeed no matter how hard they try, and that they had better stop before they suffer the backlash. And those local politicians, who are trying to take advantage of the extradition bill controversy to advance their own political objectives at the expense of the well-being of Hong Kong society, must think twice. They are treading the path of doom.
(HK Edition 08/01/2019 page9)